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Adding to this, a special corridor between the two airspaces were set up by the FAA, so the participating aircraft could travel from one airspace to the other, without getting into conflict with civilian traffic.The participation of US Navy submarines attracted the attention of US Navy’s fixed wing patrol aircraft as well as helicopters launched from three destroyers.More than a dozen high-end experiments and simulations were planned during NE15, including a complete failure of the GPS system, and a major software test on the F-16.Large scale radar/anti-radar and electronic countermeasures training can be conducted at the vast Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) where NE15 took place.A Temporary Maritime Activities Area (TMAA) was set up off the coast of Alaska.Inside the TMAA, assets hunting for the participating submarines could drop sonar buoys.Almost 1200 sonar buoys were dropped, all of which emit acoustic noise, which could impact the environment.Here are some snippets from the Alaskan Command press release regarding the protection of the environment: “Environmental protection is an integrated part of the exercise. The Alaskan Command is proud of its environmental conservation, and will go to great lengths to minimise the damage to the environment. Previous Northern Edge exercises were analysed in US Navy 2011 Gulf of Alaska Final Impact Statement (EIS). TMAA was designed to avoid critical habitats, and even though it is not possible to avoid all fish or marine habitats, activities are rare and spread out over the entire TMAA.
Even though it was an “air-centred” exercise, four US Navy ships as well as troops and ground vehicles joined close to 200 aircraft during the two week long exercise during June of 2015.JBER is geographically located closer to the Gulf of Alaska than Eielson AFB, which is located 600 km to the north, close to the town of Fairbanks.Most for the US Navy flying assets were therefore base at JBER.Several US Army bases were also used during the exercise, including Fort Greely and Fort Wainwright, which was used for a large paradrop using C-17s.A Tactical Air Operations Centre (TAOC) was set up at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), close to the town of Anchorage.